This week I received an email asking "How have churches used technology to lift their visibility and build new relationships with the community. Many of the older and more traditional churches have not embraced technology and have steadily declining membership for various reasons."
Whilst I will be quick to say that technology does not grow your church, and lack of technology is not the reason why churches decline, using the technology of today goes a long way in staying in touch with today's generation, and them keeping in touch with you as well as being engaged and helping keep the church relevant in this rapidly changing world.
While a church with an older generation that does not have home computers or use email may say they don't to use technology, or need to send out emails, invitations, newsletters etc. It is not positioning itself to attract any of the younger generations that use only email, smart phones etc. and want to save the environment by printing less. What happens when the older generation is no more? Do we close the doors?
As Tony Morgan in his blog says "People make up a church. It’s not a building. It’s not a worship service. And it’s certainly not a program. If you are trying to reach young families, then you need to become a church that young families want to attend. If you are trying to reach retirees, then you need to become a church that retirees want to attend." http://tonymorganlive.com/
A Church management software program like infoodle may not bring people directly into the church, it will help you with the administration of programs and help you to take care of the new people that then attend. The church is all about the people.
Allowing the church members to use the systems themselves and not just the office administrator or treasurer, gives others a chance to be involved, as well as being more efficient in getting more done.
It is more about taking care of your people. Using systems that help keep you in touch and up to date with what is going on in their personal lives. The people stay in a church - in part - stay because they feel they can contribute, are useful and have a place to belong. We see infoodle as a tool to help you manage this.
One observation that I have made, over the last 3 years of contacting churches throughout New Zealand and Australia, the churches that are growing are all using a variety of technologies compared to those churches who are not growing, are not using any technologies. But this I believe is more to do with accepting change in general not just embracing technology.